Among all the drivers on the road, those who are most likely to be involved in an accident are teenagers.
One factor that contributes to the high rate of teen driving accidents rate is inexperience. Young drivers can reduce their risk of being involved in crashes by understanding how accidents happen and recognizing situations to avoid.
Avoid Blind Spots
One of the easiest ways to reduce the risk of being involved in an accident with a large truck is to stay out of the truck’s blind spots.
Young drivers know that cars have blind spots. Tractor trailers have much larger blind spots. These are the areas on all sides of a tractor trailer, where smaller vehicles cannot be seen by the truck driver.
In the large blind spot behind a truck, the truck driver cannot see a car, and the automobile driver cannot see what is happening in front of the truck.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the blind spots for large vehicles extend:
Do not linger in a truck’s blind spots. You are vulnerable to an accident when your vehicle is in a blind spot. If you cannot see the truck driver in the truck’s side mirror, then you should assume the driver cannot see you.
A truck driver may decide to change lanes and be unable to see your vehicle if it is hidden in a blind spot. If you need to pass a truck, do so quickly.
Allow Truckers Extra Room
Another mistake that inexperienced drivers make is failing to give trucks enough room. Drivers may try to pass a truck, then cut back in front of the truck too soon.
Keep in mind that tractor trailers need much more distance to stop than cars. Cutting too close in front of a truck is risky and could cause you to be struck from behind.
Don’t Get Caught in a Squeeze Play
Larger trucks require extra room to make turns. If a truck is flashing a turn signal, don’t be impatient and try to squeeze by. A truck driver may swing wide to the left before making a right-hand turn (and vice versa).
When stopped at an intersection, do not pull forward of the stripe. Trucks need this area to make turns. If you are pulled too far forward at an intersection, the truck trailer may strike your car as the truck completes the turn.
Give the truck the room it needs to turn safely, and stay out of the way.
Pass a Large Truck Safely
Every teen driver needs to understand that safely passing a large truck requires slightly different steps than simply passing another car. Young drivers need to ensure that they can see truck driver in the truck’s side view prior to passing so that the trucker can see them.
Automobile drivers should avoid passing a large truck when it is on a downgrade and likely to pick up speed.
Teens should know that it is never safe to pass an 18-wheeler in the right lane.
Be Patient When You Are Driving Near a Large Truck
It is important for parents to model safe driving behavior around their teens, and show their teens the importance of being patient on the road. Patience is important when you are driving near a large truck, particularly at a point when it may be difficult to pass safely. Large trucks take a longer than passenger vehicles to gain speed. They also need longer distances to brake safely.
When automobile drivers behave aggressively around large trucks—by weaving in traffic or attempting to cut off the truck—the automobile driver may cause distractions that can lead to a severe accident.
To be clear, trying to save a few extra minutes by driving aggressively may cost you extra time in the long run if you are involved in an accident or get flagged for speeding or other unsafe behavior.
Always Wear Your Seat Belt
As the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) explains, large trucks often are involved in fatal accidents due to their size.
If your teenager is driving, it is important that she or he always wear a seat belt and require any other teen passengers to buckle up, as well.
In addition to the above, use your head and drive responsibly. That means limiting distractions, driving sober, and following traffic laws.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Colorado
Do you have questions about teen driver safety tips? An experienced personal injury attorney in Colorado can answer your questions today.